Success stories

EmbraceFarm: supporting farm families coping with loss

Since 2014, EmbraceFARM has worked for farm families affected by sudden loss or trauma, suspected suicide through the compassionate provision of peer-to-peer support groups, an Annual Ecumenical Remembrance Services and residential bereavement weekends.

Since 2014, EmbraceFARM has worked for farm families affected by sudden loss or trauma, suspected suicide through the compassionate provision of peer-to-peer support groups, an Annual Ecumenical Remembrance Services and residential bereavement weekends.

Vision: A caring supportive and non-judgmental community for all those affected by farm accidents and trauma.

Mission: to grow and sustain a support network for all those affected by farm accidents and traumas

In achieving their mission statement EmbraceFARM directly supports farm families including children, young people who have lost a loved one in a farm accident or trauma and individuals who have been seriously injured as a result of an accident

Name of the interviewed
Catherine Kenneally Embrace FARM Business Development Manager.
Type of farming activity
NGO Registered Charity Regulator number: 20149956 | Registered Charity Revenue number: CHY 21837
Mental health issue and affecting factors

Bereavement and Grief

What is your story?

The impact a farm accident has on a family is  immeasurable. It takes a serious toll on the survivor, the family  financially, physically, and emotionally. These are all life dimensions that can have a big impact on the individual’s mental health and indeed the family. The provision of  supports to  farmer and their families in such circumstances is important to ensure  farm sustainability financially and in terms of  the farm output.

Embrace FARM is committed to supporting the well-being of those affected by farm accidents in Ireland.  Their valuable support and work with the community reveals that mental wellbeing is an important part of a person’s journey towards recovery and for those who have been bereaved by the tragic loss of their loved one or are left coping with the enduring impact of a life changing  farm injury.

Improving  an understanding mental health in  rural settings has to be constantly address. In a survey carried out by EmbraceFArm at their 2019  Conference in excess of 100 participants, 83% believed that there is a greater level of stigma associated with mental health than in urban towns and cities.. This is a red flag for FARMRes to address this particular awareness topic.  and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

The development of Farmer’s resilience is crucial, as it is underpinned by factors such as climate change economic, social, and financial factors. It is necessary to develop appropriate programme resources that essentially are farmer proof.  Farmer resilience can be  strengthened when the farmer is adaptable and given the  support.

EmbraceFARM -is very embedded  within the farming community . They havecreated an environment in which the farmer and the farm family can know it is ok to talk. Their collaborative approach with the other agencies is ensuring a community support network and reducing loneliness and isolation at serious times of trauma. It is an invaluable and immeasurable support and have been successful in building a special community support.

The vision of Embrace FARM is to be a caring, supportive, and non-judgemental community for all affected by farm accidents & traumas. Their main actions are:

Supporting widows/widowers primarily with the loss of a partner due to sudden loss,  suspected suicide, sudden medical events e.g., heart attack, cancer diagnosis and sudden injury

Supporting farmers with life changing injuries following farm accidents such as amputation, spinal  and brain 

Supporting fame families with the loss of a child or parent.

Handling the situation

This Programme aims to address the gap in rural services by providing a structured, single point of contact access to local professional and peer to peer  supports for families and communities affected by sudden trauma on farms.

  1. Peer to Peer  Support
  2. Facilitate  Accredited Counselling 
  3. Encircle Programme – provision of one to one emotional and practical support for farm families after sudden loss and injury.

Key Messages include: 

Hope: Our goal is to provide hope and understanding

One Step at a Time: “There is no rush, we are here to offer support as long as it is required.”

Provision of evidenced based literature and website for ongoing support

Conclusion and tips

The aforenoted profile of EmbraceFARM that has developed organically highlights the role it plays in supporting farm families. It is a unique Irish development  and led Organization with multiple programmes that can be adapted to suit its development  within  the FARMRes partners

Tips to other farmers

We aim to remind affected farm families of the supports available, no matter where they are on their healing journey. We all have a part to play  – mental health is everybody’s business.

It needs to be recognised that the needs of people in agriculture. Farming and rural environments are by their very nature  diverse and complex. FARMRes has the potential to improve the mental health and health and well beings of its people

A farm accident  or unexpected death not only affect  the person whose life has been lost or the person who has been injured but also their  immediate family, home friends  and their local  community,

It supports by listening and being there for families to answer questions following the aftermath of a farm accident. Embrace FARM provides a space for people to come and remember their loved one in their annual ecumenical remembrance service.

EmbraceFARM host residential family weekends which are facilitated by an accredited counsellor each year where a spouse, child or sibling has been lost in a farm accident.